Help Prevent Child Sexual Abuse!

Another 3 year old child raped… during school hours. Over the past year, there have been many such cases reported. The brutality remains the same. The mindset of the school officials and cops remain the same. The only thing varying are the ages of the children abused. Sometimes it is a 3 year, a 5 year, an 8 year old.

I am getting increasingly worried about where our society is heading. No, I am not a mother yet. But I do have a lovely two year old niece, who means the world to me! And I dread to think of the day when we will have to send her to a playschool or regular school. Why are we, as sensible citizens maintaining silence over such news reports. What has today happened to someone else’s daughter, can tomorrow happen to our daughter. It is high time, we all stand together as a responsible society and provide our children the protection and care they require and more importantly, help preserve their innocence!!

So today I want to address these Phaedophiles directly. Here’s an open letter to all the perverted minds out there, who think any women/girl is game… Age no bar!!

Mr Pervert,

On the outside you might seem a common man… a normal Indian family man… With a devoted wife and children… daughters/sons, sisters that you think the world of. I have no doubt that you love your family as any normal person would. On the outside!! But please tell me, how can any father/brother, have a sick mind. How can you look at somebody else’s baby daughter with lustful eyes. How can you look at a child and see beyond the innocence that only children have!
If you had the slightest idea about the extent of love and affection every parent had for their baby girls, you would think twice before objectifying them or harming them. If only you knew the pain that parents take, since the time the baby is born to the time they grow up and become independent… making sure no harm or grief befalls them. Sacrificing their own comfort to ensure a smooth life for their children! But maybe I am asking for too much… maybe you have lost the capacity to think… to rationalize… to be human!

Do you know, even animals(pets and wild) have a gentle approach towards children.. Even if kids pull the dogs hair, plonk their weight on the dog, roughly wake them up from deep slumber.. they still walk away from the child, rather than harm them. I guess I am doing deep injustice to the animals by comparing you with them. Your cruelty and brutality seem to belong to some other category of species. The right word for someone like you is “MONSTER”. The Monster that gives our kids nightmares.. the monster that strikes fear in their heart.. such that they don’t feel safe even in their own homes.

School is supposed to be home away from home, where children learn new things about the world around them.. gain knowledge that helps them grow. We don’t expect our kids to be attacked when they are sleeping in their homes, with their parents and grandparents protecting them. Similarly, we don’t expect kids to be attacked while they are in school.. around their teachers. But sadly.. you have shattered this illusion we have been living in. You have taught us to fear the one place where we thought no harm would befall our kids.

Mom’s sacrifice their sleep so that the child doesn’t get bitten by a mosquito during a powercut at night. They baby proof the entire house so that the child doesn’t get hurt accidentally. If it was practically possible, mom’s would baby proof the entire city to protect their kids. These are the same kids that you grievously hurt.. mentally and physically. The child goes through unimaginable trauma.. because they do not understand why someone is hurting them. The 3 year olds see all adults as protectors. They cannot comprehend the difference between a good person and a bad person. The parents suffer more than the child because they stop trusting the world around them. If someone can so brutally hurt a baby, then humanity is as good as dead! The parents have to help heal the child and help them build a positive outlook towards life, despite the trauma they have been through.

Our wise-ass elders often advise the girls.. don’t wear revealing clothes, don’t stay out after dark, avoid lonely areas… then rape and other sexual crimes will be avoided. It is the girl who is at the wrong place, at the wrong time, wearing the wrong clothes, who invites trouble. It is she to be equally blamed for the crime. So tell me, where exactly did the child go wrong? What was her share in the crime… she was at school, during broad daylight, wearing her school uniform, supposed to be under the protective gaze of teachers and fellow students… what exactly did she do to provoke you to this crime. Was it the diapers that she still wears.. because she is still a baby!! Or was it the fact that she is innocent, vulnerable, unaware of bad intentions and bad people.

I don’t care what the so called human rights activists day.. You deserve Capital Punishment and you deserve it as fast as possible. The world would be a better place, without perverts like you around. This will ensure, that our children are safe. This will ensure that your daughter or niece is safe!! Because I believe, if your are a Phaedophile.. you can never play another role in your life.. you can never truly be a father or uncle or brother. You have a sick mind that nothing or no one can change!

However, unless the mentality of our cops, school authorities and general public doesn’t change. You will be safe. Our laws will ensure that you have a secure life until you die of old age! How can we blame you singularly when people around us care two hoots about this crime, unless it happens to their own kids, When cops who are supposed to fight crime.. lie back and watch the fun! When school authorities are more concerned about minting money than standing for some real values, when teachers refuse to go beyond their job description and try to go an extra mile to ensure their students are well taken care of.

We’ve been hearing these incidents for an entire year now. The children have been attacked while they were in their schools in Bangalore.. during school hours. And the ages of the kids attacked is decreasing. This brutality has to end. If not, we are answerable to our next generation about our inability to protect them despite being capable enough to.

Here’s a request to all Bangaloreans out there. Let us do something to prevent this crime. We have to fight for stricter laws, accountability from the schools, a better system that will ensure that all children are safe while they are in their schools. We as parents can protect them when they are outside on the roads or elsewhere. But how do you ensure protection of the child during school hours? It is practically impossible for parents to hover around their kids during school hours.. so how then can we ensure their safety. We need to evolve a system in every school…where apart from CCTV cameras.. basic precautions are taken. Basic precautions such as background verification of every single employee..including watchmen and peon. No girl child should be allowed to wander alone without female supervision. Teachers should ensure all members of their class are accounted for during the hour that they are in charge. Children especially younger ones should be escorted by a female teacher or helper from class to the gates, where the parents/guardians are waiting. Male admin workers/teachers/security men should not have unnecessary access or interaction with the kids. School officials should take responsibility of the safety of each and every child during school hours.

This is the least we can do for our future generation!

Please sign my petition on Change.org, regarding prevention of Child Sexual Abuse in School, if you believe it will make a difference! Also share it, so that we can get maximum support!!

https://www.change.org/p/citizens-of-india-all-bangaloreans-help-prevent-child-abuse-especially-at-school-6af26a46-e29c-496e-a27e-08ed16aeef1f?recruiter=false&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink

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Call me an Angry Young Woman, if you will..

“Dear God, Give me patience… give me patience to put up with a lot of bad things out there in the world… Don’t give me strength, or I might just kill a couple of em people!!”

And so goes a prayer. It’s one of the funny statements making the rounds in social media. Of course I have altered it a bit. The exact statement contains some unparliamentary language which I don’t want seen on my blog.

This statement like so many others has a lot of truth in it. In today’s world patience is a well cultivated virtue. There are so many things and people who can easily push us into a whirlwind of rage. And giving into these rages that are so often triggered these days, would make us all mini Taliban’s.. Crazy and irrational.

But there are a couple of issues that need to trigger that rage in us. For only anger can keep certain unpleasant things out of our lives. (Like the ever calm Professor Dumbledore, whose anger kept the Dementors out of the Hogwarts gates..  Can’t help it., The pottermania has to get out once in a while :P). Now, the problem with Indians especially, is that we put up with a lot of crap. We bear the injustice meted out to us because we don’t like retaliating. We prefer peace. We prefer to be accommodative of others.

Women are molested, raped, degraded and basically treated like door mats in many parts of the country especially up north. There are many layers to putting up with injustice in this case. First the girls and ladies themselves have accepted unruly behavior from men as a daily part of their life. Yes, the sun rises in the east, the milk and paper gets delivered to the door every morning, the husband and in laws yell or say something nasty if the morning tea gets delayed by 5 nanoseconds, the auto drivers and men in general leer when you walk by on the road.. never mind that you are covered up from head to toe – all of this is a normal part of life!

The society around them is also ok with it and some even encourage this bad behavior. People around them silently witness all this without even feeling sorry for the person being ill treated. I recently watched a video by a group that conducts Social Experiments, to gauge the way people react to situations. Here a girl was being harassed by two guys. And the people around them went about their daily lives, ignoring her pleas for help. I was thrilled to see another girl, towards the end of the video, who was so outraged that she beat the guys so much, it took 5 people to stop her pummeling the guys.

I am outraged that ladies in particular have to apparently seek “permission” to take decisions. The decisions could be big, small or downright trivial.. something as trivial as deciding to go stay at their own Mum’s place. Ladies are expected to take care of the house.. Apparently god created them for this sole purpose.. also go out and work and make themselves useful. Coz if they are really smart, they need to be able to cook, clean, work, socialize, look pretty, take care of their health and the health of people around them – and all this needs to be done within 12 hours. The worst part of this deal is that the ladies themselves believe that this is what makes them Ideal people. I don’t have a problem with this. I believe that each of us should do whatever makes us happy. If taking care of your home makes you happy.. do that. If working and achieving your ambition makes you happy.. do that. And if you are one of those Women’s-horlicks-drinking, always on charger-connected-to-electricity type, highly enthusiastic people, who can beautifully manage home and work… and that makes you happy.. well!! Do just that.

What I am not ok with is, allowing yourself and people around you, to make you feel guilty, for not living up to their “Expectations” of the lady being an all in one version of Superman + Catwoman + Mother Theresa + Magician. It is ok if you do not cook every day. Ladies need that break. It is absolutely ok if you don’t clean the house as much as others want you to. After all cooking and cleaning and taking care of the house is not only your frigging responsibility. God never said, “Today I create WOMEN and to them I assign House work!”. Every individual in the family can do it. Have hands, do it!!!

It is not ok to apologize for waking up late on a lazy weekend. It is not ok to allow people to disrespect you and this rule is not for ladies only, it is for any individual. You have the right to expect respect from others. Doesn’t matter if you are rich, poor, male, female, child, transgender, handicapped, SC, Minority or General Merit. They say “Never judge a man by the way he treats his equals, judge him by the way he treats the people below him (could be in designations, finances etc)”.

It is not ok to be restricted from taking care of your family just because you are married and have a “New Family” to take care of. It is not ok for anybody to be told to discard parents when they are old and require your presence and support. The parents who take care of their kids, for decades, often sacrificing their own comforts and needs, so that every requirement of their child is taken care of. All of us have beautiful parents who have spent their hard earned money so that we get the new dress, musical instrument, education, sometimes at the cost of foregoing something for themselves. I have a father who threw away his well paying job in the Middle east without a second’s thought, because we needed his presence. He refused to take up a job at a private company for about 2 years thereafter, because there was no one to babysit us at home, a person who refused to travel in luxury despite being able to afford it, coz he wanted to save up for our future. I have a mother who used to work at home, work at office, reach home at 6 in the evening and immediately start cooking dinner for the family. And despite this she would still make dishes according to each person’s preference and likes. A mother who refused to buy a new dress so that we got new stuff when we wanted it. A mother who despite her grueling schedule would stay awake at night, if one of us were ill.

And if someone ever had to audacity to tell me to discard these people, I would give them Holy Hell. I don’t give anyone the “permission” to tell me how many times to go home, how to take care of my parents, how much time to spend with them. Of course I have a wonderful husband who would be there for my parents, whenever required, even before I get to them. But the point is I never put up with that kind of talk nor do I ever allow anyone to talk about disregarding their parents, in my presence.
Of course I fight with the parents, we have our arguments. But they are the most important people in my life and nothing will change that. Period.

I like the rage that’s triggered in me, even though I am known to be gentle and polite, whenever I see disrespect thrown at parents. It is something that I will never tolerate. And that rage ensures that people never cross that line with me.

I wish every woman in India, would speak up and tell people, who ask her to take care of her “New Family” and forget the parents, to go take a hike.. and preferably try to fall into a stinking drain. I wish people(Man/Woman) would take care of their old parents, with the same love and care that was showered on them. The parents don’t need financial support always. They need your presence and love more than anything else. And while we are on this subject.. Please Men, don’t let your wives/kids tell you to throw the parents out either.

The reason I talk about the above point from the woman’s point of view, is because in India, daughters and sons have different rules. A daughter has to take care of everybody else except her own parents. She has to give more importance to maintaining a mere building called “Home” instead of spending that time with her parents. Whereas, a son is given every right to take care of his parents. In fact questions arise if he does not take care of them. I say, yes, We should question every child(daughter or son) who does not take care of their parents. This is not gender restrictive.

Another thing that increases my blood pressure is hearing a Male Chauvinist in speech. No sir, women were not born to do the bidding of men. They are one major part of the reason, that you are alive and kicking. They are highly capable and they don’t need to prove their worth to you. Also I don’t think that having a son is the only way to attain Nirvana. In fact my entire family consists of girl child lovers. I am appalled to hear of all the Female foeticide taking place in our country.

It is not ok to put up with physical or mental abuse, from anyone. It is not ok, to be discriminated against because of the color of your skin. It is not ok to feel bad about yourself because a prospective soulmate rejected you for not being fair enough or rich enough. It is not ok to pay anything to the boy’s family just because they got the XY chromosome combination right. It is not ok to put up with snide remarks because you are either too thin or too fat or too nerdy!

It is not ok to touch a woman without her consent. It’s her body and her right. She doesn’t give out signals to every random guy on the road to touch her, just because she decided to wear that pretty red top today. She never asks for the molestation and dirty looks and if you feel she does, Mr. Creep, You need to get your inner eye tested. It is not ok to put up with auto drivers and people who try to extort money from you. I once had an auto driver kindly tell me, that since I had the privilege of working in a software company, he had the right to charge me extra. I gave him a look which would have failed to convey the extent of my disgust. For all you know, he might have thought I am giving out some “signals” to convey how attracted I was to his paan chewing mouth and greasy hair! It is NOT OK to put up with mean, selfish people or bully’s. Stand up.. You might get beaten down but stand up again. It is not ok to put up with anyone who makes you feel bad about yourself and make you feel like you are not good enough!

I think we should be outraged when people drive like maniacs on the road, not giving two hoots about the safety of others on the road. Please get yourself killed or maimed for life, but spare the innocents who are not part of your road rage game. We should be offended when people show scant respect to the environment around us, by polluting it to the extent, that the future of our next generation looks bleak!

My point is, Start saying No!! No to injustice and everything that is wrong. We are not obligated to put up with bullshit. Sometimes, just standing up and saying Enough, makes all the difference in the world. The difference between life and death! The difference between hope and despair. Between Right and Wrong!!!

Dear Cuteness Overload aka Nikkie….

My skin doctor very correctly diagnosed my problems the other day… and she said..”The root cause of all your problems is allergy!!” Bronchitis – Dust Allergy, Skin Rashes – Mosquito allergy, Tummy Ache – Egg Allergy…. PHEW!!!

Now, I used to be allergic to one another thing..,. And this had nothing to do with the ESINOPHIL count being high in my body! And that was kids!!!! Frigging attention seeking lil monkies… Why? Do i have a problem with kids you ask? Main reason being I am a bigger attention seeking monkey.. Being the youngest in the family(till you arrived! That is)…I was used to being dotted on.. Didn’t like sharing that with anyone!! and yes, I would shamelessly compete with the little tots 15 years younger than me…

Another reason for staying away from kids…They are brutally honest.. If you are caught unaware, they can embarrass the living daylights out of you with their questions.

Now, naturally when I was told of the impending arrival of our brand new family member by the elder sibling.. I was ecstatic and worried… You were going to be the most important part of our family and yet I was allergic to kids… How would I avoid being around you like I have usually run away from kids all my life!!

And one beautiful morning, early in November you came into our lives… Unfortunately I was away at work and wasn’t there the first time the family met you…. But I did rush back as soon as I got a call from your thrilled granny who shouted into my ear,…. We have a granddaughter and you got a niece.. Now for a family of girl-child lovers, this was the most joyous day of our life!! I literally skipped my way to the hospital…

I knew we would hit it off very well, when the nurse told us that you came out into the world, a hungry baby, who was trying to suck on the suction pump that was cleaning you up after your birth. Why, you were even sucking on the cloth they had wrapped you in, with wide open eyes, as you were being introduced to your family.

All my pre-conceived notions about kids and me have been blown to very tiny bits since. You just amaze us with your intelligence and cute little antics every single day!!!

We would talk to you, expecting some reaction from you, even when you were just fifteen days old! Never mind the fact, that you would be fast asleep for most part of the time. I still remember one such day, when you were around 2.5 months old. We were all crowding and crooning over you, as mommy dearest was burping you. You looked right at us and smiled… SMILED!!! for the first time!!! WOW!! We kept talking to you, expecting to cox another smile…until you sighed at our foolish antics and drifted off to sleep…

Then a month later you laughed….. an infectious, innocent laugh that made us go ballistic with joy!! And again, your family started taking turns to sing, clown around, do anything to hear that laugh! And greedy that we were, a smile was just not enough anymore… We wanted that uncontrolled laughter.. that you bestowed upon us when you were highly amused by something.

There have been so many moments since, the first time you realised you could stuff your mouth with your hand, then both the hands, the way you amuse yourself by blowing spit bubbles, the way you tried to put grandpa’s head in your mouth(afterall, if your hands taste good, why not granpa’s head!!), the customary smile you give, to pacify us when we clown around to amuse you, when you are just not in the mood, the way you hold your leg and try putting it in your mouth(a feat that would put Baba Ramdev to shame!)

You have completed 5 months and a few days as I write this post. We marked your 5th month anniversary by celebrating your “Chorunu”. It was the first time you went to the temple and while being seated in Dadda’s lap, were fed solid food… albeit customarily….

Our whole lives revolve around you now… And like I said, all my preconceived notions are gone. Turns out I am a mad aunt who does love kids! rather one kid as of now!!

Welcome to the family!!!

PS: While I read and re-read this post, contemplating if it did justice to how adorable you actually are, you’ve turned 6 moths and a few days!! 🙂

AK 2.0

Wow!! Its been about 2 years since I blogged… Life’s been going like in one of the 80’s Amitabh Bacchan movie(A small boy is thrown in the air by a hooligan, for stealing bread, but when he lands back on the ground he’s a fully grown adult)…. One day I’m passing out of college and the next time I take a rain check,.. I’m married, working, cooking, there are neighbourhood kids running into the house saying ‘aunty’ can you pass the ball thats fallen in your terrace… (I drew the line at that… Scared the lil bums away)…

Anyway since I last blogged I have changed two jobs… and now… let me introduce you to the new and improved version.. AK 2.0…. Asst Professor – Department of MBA. Sounds heavy weight, I know, but essentially get to stand and give me opinion on anything under the sun., 13 hours a week. In case of contradictions I can put on my serious ‘I know better since I was born a good 762.5 days before you’ look. Any doubts asked are batted away with a serious ‘Out of syllabus’ retort. 🙂

People close to me find it funny that I am a teacher now. Each time I informed someone about my new line of work, the first reaction was – to fall off the chair and laugh.. But after the 5 min awkward pause, when they realize I am serious, it becomes a slightly open mouth stunned expression, after which they quickly recover and assure me that they always knew this was the job I was born to do. I guess I should have been a wee bit offended.. But watching the same sequence of reactions from multiple people was actually a combination of interesting and funny. Now I just wait patiently for 10 mins, for them to finish the sequence and then go on to declare that “I am actually a strict teacher and the students are scared of me”.. Ofcourse here they give me a round of applause, usually given to the stand up comedians for their best punch lines.

Teaching has been fun for the most part. Its a very satisfying job. Ofcourse students are a lot different these days. You have to really earn their respect. So any teacher new to them can expect to be initially treated like a second hand football, before you gain their confidence.
There’s so much to learn every day.. With respect to the subject, people, attitudes, inter-personal skills… Also fun to watch the lil tykes in class.. where they think they are being clever in the tactics adopted, either to talk while class is in session or while copying in the exam hall. Generally give them a 10 second head start before I call their bluff.

On the personal front, the last 2 years has been a mix of a few happy moments and many sad one’s.. Lost 4 very important family members… Its not like there are less important family members who are more disposable.. Just that the people we lost were closer and the grief was overwhelming.

Hopefully I will be more regular on this blog.. just realized how much I miss writing in here…

PS: The relative who thought I had a fake MBA degree and hence wasn’t getting a job… here… take some Calvin style dry boogers..!! and a free Smug Smile to accompany that…..

I’ve always smirked at parents who go ga-ga when they see their precious little kids on stage. Never mind if they are playing the role of a dead body or the role of a tree in the skit. The parents would still go… “Awww.. look at my son, playing the tree. He looks so calm and composed.. and look at the smart cookie, swaying his hands in conjunction with the breeze outside!!” I also used to be a stickler for public decorum, by not cheering too loudly or hooting while watching a live program!! 😎

Anyway, all of that has been blown to smithereens…. Went to Palace Grounds to watch the husband in action. I pretty much acted like an elephant high on cane sugar!! Hooted, Whistled, Clapped.. even before they could start the dance program!! also came close to man-handling the judges, to make them give a 11 out of 10 score.

I suspect I’m newly married!! 😀

Checkist for being happy.. appy…appy…

Warning… Serious post ahead!! 😎 😀

I am one of those people who tends to either, brood about the past or worry about the future. I always think I will be happy once I have done this.. or achieved that. What a terrible way to go through life!!! So starting from today.. my own home-made recipe for HAPPINESS!!

1) Be Cheerful. No matter what!! So much better than being a grouch!! Atleast you’ll have friends around…

2) Take life, one day… no.. one minute at a time. Don’t brood about what you will do 5 minutes from now. I don’t mean, stop planning for the future. Plan well, Yes!! But stop worrying. Take on each day, one step at a time, and give your fullest to it.. Do the best that you can with every aspect of your life.

3) If you are cooking, be the best darn cook you can be.. If you are reading, give the book your 100% attention and focus. Life seems more bearable when taken with small focused steps. Atleast you have the satisfaction of a full hearted approach to life!!

4) Cut negative stuff, thoughts, people out. Seriously, anybody or anything that makes you feel down and out is not worth the effort!! But give everyone a second chance. Don’t be too quick to judge. Assumption is the mother of all screw up’s.

5) Friends make the world go round.. Keep in touch! Please eliminate seasonal friends from your life!! I’d rather be left with 5 good one’s than have 300 of the fake one’s. Quality control.

6) Family, according to me, is the most important thing in the world. Make sure to spend quality time with them.

7) Do atleast 1 good deed a day. Help someone. Nothing like being the most considerate person you know!!

8) Laughter – Seriously, the best medicine in the world. Helped me get through some serious depression. Will be ever grateful to “F.R.I.E.N.D.S” for getting me through.

9) Constantly improve yourself. Live a good principled life and be someone who is well respected. Respect can never be commanded.. only earned!

10) Go the extra mile for your loved one’s. Nothing like pampering the people in your life. They deserve it.

11) Do the right thing, and fear no one!

12) Learn a new skill, after that, learn another one!… Mine is to learn the Guitar (Dad! Stop rolling your eyes.. I will.. I will.. I finally will :D)

13) Write down your thoughts, your action plan.. a personal diary can transform your life, if used right. It helps you become more organized and gives more clarity to your thoughts.

14) Love yourself as much as you love everyone else in your life!! Sounds clichéd.. but the nicest people I know, always seems to forget to do that. Never give yourself second place.

15) Confidence. A magic word I tell you. The secret to being confident is so simple, you’ll hit yourself on the head, with a non-stick pan, when you hear it… Just believe and act like you are the most confident person you know.. and that’s what you’ll become!

16) If you want something with passion… The universe conspires to give it to you. I have always got what I wanted. How does the universe know, what I want? You might ask…. Whatever you are constantly thinking about.. positive or negative.. that’s what you get. You constantly imagine yourself to be in a high paid job, world hopping and that’s what you’ll get. You constantly think about your problems and how nothing is going right.. and you are again proved right. Even for fun!! Don’t say or even think anything negative. The key is to be conscious about your thought process and immediately change your thoughts, when you realize you are having negative thoughts. Always focus on the nice things of life.

17) Never demean anyone, even yourself. If you don’t respect yourself, who will!!

18) Smile.. be pleasant.. be someone people would want around them.

19) Selfishness, being mean, being sarcastic, being vengeful are such terrible habits. So not cool.. I personally dislike these traits in people. Just can’t stand someone who is unkind by word, thought or deed.

20) Courtesy!!! Another magical magical world… It reflects the person you are.

21) Enthusiasm… Just be the most enthusiastic person you know!! And see the difference. Let me give examples (What do you expect from a future HR or Lecturer?? Both these professions that I’m considering, require me to set an example to others :D). So one interview I went to.. I was all down and out.. It was probably the nth interview I had attended. I was bored.. hungry.. tired of walking in the sun(Interview got postponed from 11 AM to 3 PM), pissed off by the company’s lack of punctuality.. So I walked in with a crappy mood.. zero enthusiasm.. and a go to hell attitude. Yeah.. Needless to say it didn’t work out. Another company, I went in all charged up and on my best behavior.. got the job.. Ofcourse I did reject it and walk into the sunset 😀 (The irony being I was the one who called up the company guys and convinced them to call me for an interview, despite them needing people with a whole different set of qualification!!).

22) Do all the things that make you happy. (Don’t run over someone with your vehicle.. if that’s what makes you happy.. go to a psychiatrist!!)

23) Live life with no apologies. Treat others, the same way, you’d like to be treated!!

24) Do whatever you really want to do, without the intention of impressing people around. They don’t care anyway.

25) Make a bucket list… of all the things you want to do in life.. priority wise.. and strike it out, as and when you do it.

26) Exercise. It always gets you into a better mood.

27) Stay healthy! You are hearing this from someone who has disregarded her health for 25 years of her life, before life decided to give some experiential learning lessons.

28) Treat old people well. They need the affection. And Kids?? Well.. they’ll grow into crappy teenagers anyway. Be nice to them once they are 20+. 😀 😛

29) People need love the most, when they deserve it the least. Easier said than done.. but keep it in mind while dealing with people who are close to you. (Senior Kozhi.. sit up and take note.. I need to be loved most, esp while in the middle of my terrible terrible tantrums!! :P)

30) Please read Harry Potter. Its magical.. transports you into a whole new world!! 😀 (I am the unofficial brand ambassador of that book!)

Ok, now granny ma is tired. Time for my Arthritis medicine. Off you all trot.

Do let me know… your happiness checklist… I would louuu to know and learn from it.

PS: If this post is helpful in any way, thanks in way of gift cheques can be sent. Anything below 1000 rupees will be treated with an auto driver sneer and a bery bery unparliamentary vocabulary.

Yours Cheerfully,
AKozhi… 😀

Destiny Rules! Again!! Every time I make emphatic statements about how I would never do something, I end up doing just that. God’s way of telling me Who’s Boss!! You would think, I would have got the point by now!! *Wry Smile*

 

First I said a highly nose-up-in-the-air NO to Engineering!! 4 years later.. walked out of MVIT with a degree and a slightly less bloated ego! Then I said NO to any more exams.. and Pooff… I was writing exams every 20 seconds… Then I said ABSOLUTELY NOT… NO WAY IN HELL!! to Dad.. when he suggested I try becoming a lecturer.. Well.. What do you know!! Exactly what I’m going to do for the next one week.. Apply for a lecturer’s post. Let’s maintain 2 minutes silence, in memory of the bright futures, of all the students I might end up “teaching”, if I get the job.

 

Not someone to accept defeat easily, I staunchly say NO..Thanks,,, to getting 1 gazillion dollars in lottery!! Hope Big Boss is listening! 😀

 

On weddings and beyond..

The story of my wedding actually begins when Dad and Mum decided… Enough is enough.. Let’s get her the hell out of here!! But since this is my blog, I get to paint a very much photo-shopped and edited picture of me! 😀

I’ll skip the gory details of the story… esp in the interest of people(like me).. who have watched way too many Suraj Bharjathya movies and think weddings are about Love at first sight.. laughter, songs, on the go dance routines with a synchronized dance group in the background.. I am reminded of a very dear friend at this point, who used to give us valuable reality checks, every time we went into fantasy land…. All of which turned out to be bang on target!!

Apologeees if I’m scaring away the still single people.. Married life is fun… atleast it has been for me. I have a whole new set of people who take care of me.. like a princess! The wedding ceremony is scary though. Given a chance, I would run away to Thiruvannamalai and get married. Wouldn’t even have to buy my own garland. The nice priests there keep everything ready. You just need to play along.

So after months of shopping, double checking the list and some more shopping, we were ready to leave for the wedding.

My personal checklist looked like this:

Wedding sarees – Check,

One million pins to hold the saree in place – Check,

Tears (on demand) – Check,

Mood-swings of a pregnant lady – Check,

Unparliamentary words, in 5 different languages – Check,

Exotic varieties of smiles – Check (Smile 1: Yay! I’m the bride and I love that you are continuously recording every move of mine on camera.. so not annoying!! Smile 2: On seeing complete strangers, smile that conveys…. nothing, i mean absolutely nothing could have made me happier than seeing them!! Smile 3: The “I have a Halo over my head smile” – when the aunties and uncle’s wake me up from deep slumber to give me advices like .. you have to be a kind and understanding person after marriage. $%#%@#???? What the……)

The drive to Kerala was uneventful, unless you think the driver almost dozing off while ripping at 100 kms/hr is a big deal.

Despite the sudden flu and fever, I was at my cheerful best.. the See if I care mode… The previous day of the wedding even saw me receiving guests at the entrance.. never mind the oldest.. most woe-begone clothes I’d chosen to be in (I was saving all my Govinda style.. flashy dresses for the post wedding events!!).

I guess my transformation from pleasant, well-behaved bride to Bridezilla took place overnight. I would like to pass on the blame to all the gawking and staring relatives and partly to hormones(Given my credentials… Human + Indian + HR, who would blame me!! :P)

Long story short…the wedding got over…smoothly one might say. My immediate family members were sure glad when it ended!!

Anyway, so now I’m dear ol wifey… even though Mr. Vishgo seems more like my nice pakkadh mane huduga than husband. It still hasn’t sunk in. We were walking in the Berjaya resorts… It was a slopy path and we’d decided to walk instead of taking the resort shuttle service. We came across these Indian labourers working there. During the course of the conversation.. they were like.. Saab, aapki biwi ko pasina aa raha hai… aap shuttle ke liye wait karo.. and I was like… Biwi??? Who Biwi?? It took some time to realize that I was the Biwi they were talking about(And no.. My hindi vocabulary isn’t bad!!)

Now for some wisdom passing on session 😎

Important things I learnt post all these wedding procedures:
1) Wedding photography is designed to embarrass you in public, by the public, for the public. And no, there’s no escaping.. Just go with it.. Its like the proverb “Every dog has its day!!!”
PS: Everyone who laughed, pointed, smirked.. will be repaid in kind.. I’m attending every wedding now on, to repay my dues!! 😎

2) Girls… no point planning ahead… Its anyway going to go down the drain! (Ray of sunshine I am!! 😎 )

3) Beauticians probably were the inspiration behind the concept of “Anti-climaxes”. They’ll make sure you’re ready way ahead of time, when everyone else is running late(I ended up hiding behind a pillar, the previous day of the wedding, waiting for the groom and other guests!! And also to hide from all the surprised.. hey.. look… there’s-goes-the-unusually-punctual-bride stares) or they’ll take their own sweet time in dressing you up.. creating a lot of raised BP’s… Since I wanted to be punctual rather than well dressed.. I ran out of the room while the beautician was doing the make-up!

4) The minute you are married, expect polite enquiries, subtle hints, advises – direct & indirect, blessings… with regard to the devil’s own instruments(read kids).

5) Post the wedding, people start greeting you with How’s married life? Rather than the good ol hello’s and whats up!! FYI.. I’d like to go back to Hello’s if you must!

6) Being married has its advantages too… From being openly gawked at by the driver of the taxi we hired… I went to becoming “Akka” the minute the wedding got over!! Haah… 😀

7) Lastly, if you ever decide to get married without going through the 3rd degree… go to Thiruvannamalai… Unlike the popular saying.. “There are no free lunches”.. I would say.. In Thiruvannamalai, There are free marriages.. and it could be yours!!

And whoever said Guys can’t multi-task!!! I have a nice boy at home who doubles up as hubby bubby-in-chief, guinea pig, agony aunt, head chef, chauffeur, Santa Claus and so much more… 😛

PS: Learnt a few Malay words.. Tutup and Therima kazhi being my favourite… Tutup means closed and Theri – ma- kazhi.. 😀 means Thankyou… oh wait.. there was also Tuntutan Bagasi… meaning Baggage Reclaim… Nice language it is.. Malay!!

Acchamma

My granny passed away on Thursday. It feels like the end of an era..
of good times and memories that would never come back!!

Gran was petite, all of 5 feet.. maybe lesser. But like the popular
cliche goes.. Appearances are highly deceptive.. She was a bundle of
energy!!and she was beautiful… there’s no other way of describing her!!

She was more aware of the political situation, latest malayalam movies
and general happenings than any of us ever were.I remember her having
serious discussions with Dad about the political situation around the
world. She could probably beat any of us,hands down, in a running
race.! or atleast had the spirit to give us good competition at that
age! Given the chance, she might even have climbed the mango and
coconut trees, instead of depending on others to do it for her. At
home, she used to place the bean bag on top of the Deewan near the
Balcony window and sit there. I am talking of a 90 year old lady do that!
That was one of her favourite places to sit.I used to love watching
her do the acrobatics to reach her seat. She loved watching movies and
serials. She loved reading. But what I would miss most about her, is
her sense of humour. It ranged from plain witty to sarcastic funny to
ROFL funny.

Nothing I write here could do justice to the person she was. Her
funeral was marked with people talking about the generosity, kindness,
moral support and laughter she brought into their lives.

The drive to Palakkad would never be the same, knowing Gran would not
be waiting anxiously at the entrance,for us. I wish I could hold on,
forever, to the vision of her shaking with laughter once she had said
her witty comeback to our wise-cracks… I want to write so much more
about her here.. but how do you capture someone who was so full of
life in a couple of paragraphs.

The only silver lining is having a father and sister who have so many
of acchamma’s endearing qualities, that would constantly remind me of
her.